Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:47 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Robin, not one to ever dissuade you from any action you might take in pursuit of the First Amendment, you might consider what happened in the Diamond Jim and Dow Jones dustup


Bob, as you know, international issues like this are a tough (and scary) aspect of Internet law. By celebrating alcoholic beverages, this Website is probably breaking the law in any number of Middle Eastern nations, and I don't even want to think about what the statutory penalty might be. I also have subscribers in most of those nations - even Iran! But absent any physical or corporate presence there, and being a long way away, my attitude, frankly, is "#### it."
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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Jul 21, 2006 2:49 pm

"But absent any physical or corporate presence there, and being a long way away, my attitude, frankly, is "#### it."

I agree completely, Robin, although at times I'm a bit troubled by the Ugly American syndrome. I think I pull my punches a little when posting notes on New Zealand and Australian wines -- not because I'm worried about any legal problems, but more out of a sense of not wanting to offend readers in those countries who are used to a different type of criticism.

Thank goodness I don't drink that many English wines. :-)

BTW, remind me not to irritate you too much in mid-July -- as I'm sure you knew "paste" can have quite an impact when used as a verb.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Thomas » Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:01 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:
It's fun and sometimes informative to criticize, but critics must also take responsibility for their words.


Absolutely, but criticism is ultimately subjective and we must accord them a good deal of latitude in speaking their mind about the subject of their criticism, even if we vehemently disagree with their views.

Mark Lipton


Mark, you and I can--and do, I assume--agree that saying something smells like rubber or onion is subjective and certainly it can be construed as criticism.

Can we further agree that when a person attempts to diagnose the subjective analysis the criticism has given way to something more concrete, therefore of more consequence, and therefore "upping" responsibility?
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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Dave Erickson » Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:28 pm

What is this "technically trained" stuff? Either you know what mercaptan is and can identify its aroma or you don't and you can't. You don't need a degree from UC Davis for that.

I hear all the time (mostly from winemakers) that critics don't know what they're talking about and can cause economic damage. Come to think of it, I hear it all the time from jazz musicians, too. To which I say tough cookies. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the cabana, etc. Those same people don't mind when one of those critics who don't know what they're talking about give them raves.
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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Ian Sutton » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:08 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Thank goodness I don't drink that many English wines. :-)

Indeed as there's very little to get enthusiastic about! As far as I'm concerned, critique away.

I don't think the UK have a problem with genuine criticism, however for years our wine press have avoided it.

Good words only have value when bad words were possible.

I've seen "producing wines better than XYZ region, at half the price" so many times, yet can I find a poor review of a wine from XYZ region? No.

For me, Jeremy Oliver (Oz) does a good job of (fairly) objective criticism and has grasped a few nettles over the recent years (and generally vindicated).

regards

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Re: Criticising Wine - What is reasonable?

Postby Thomas » Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:22 pm

Dave Erickson wrote:What is this "technically trained" stuff? Either you know what mercaptan is and can identify its aroma or you don't and you can't. You don't need a degree from UC Davis for that.

I hear all the time (mostly from winemakers) that critics don't know what they're talking about and can cause economic damage. Come to think of it, I hear it all the time from jazz musicians, too. To which I say tough cookies. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the cabana, etc. Those same people don't mind when one of those critics who don't know what they're talking about give them raves.


Thank you David for the enlightenment. All the while I thought that knowing meant first learning--now I find so late in my life that knowing is a gift that requires no learning. Wish I could have met you forty years ago. I could have saved a lot of money on education.
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